Collier County Bar Foundation honors Y stalwart
Attorney Ashley Lupo recognized for dedication
Prolific community volunteers tend to be modest, if a little publicity shy – but gracious if they’re recognized for enormous contributions. Take a bow, attorney Ashley Lupo. For her countless hours of commitment to the YMCA of South Collier (Marco Y) over the past 20 years, Lupo has been recognized with a special service award.
It comes not from the Y – which has itself recognized Lupo many times in the past for her tireless efforts – but from the Collier County Bar Foundation. Significantly, Lupo was not aware she’d been nominated (by Y CEO Cindy Love-Abounader), and her reaction was one of gratitude – but also augmented with a modesty that many would say is typical of her.
“This is probably one of the greatest honors I’ve ever received,” Lupo said. “It’s about service to an organization (the Y) that has been a huge part of my life. “The Y is testament to how we support the community, it’s a validation of how important community is.” In a release, her company of Roetzel & Andress noted that the award “is a recognition of an attorney who goes above and beyond their Foundation service as vital citizens of Collier County … (and has shown) a dedication to the betterment of the community through either service to local charities as a board member, or volunteer, or through providing free legal support to those in need.” Love-Abounader’s nomination outlined Lupo’s contributions as a Y board member, highlighting her “countless hours in service to the South Collier/Marco Island/East Naples communities.”
Love-Abounader added that Lupo had helped both of the Collier YMCA’s weather the pandemic storm, “and is leading the charge to help us utilize and maximize our resources.” Lupo helped build the youth development center, which provides a safe place for youth after-school and summer programs, takes part in weekly volunteerism such as the bread run, and was instrumental in strategic planning to bring needed partners to help with certain chronic disease and mental health issues.
A radiant mom of three (whom she modestly says are all solidly on track, academically and otherwise), Lupo credits her dad John Ramsey with instilling in her the joy of truly giving back. “He worked in Postal Service management and was a Rotary District Governor (prioritizing polio vaccinations and welcoming exchange students) and was also president of the Sons of the American Revolution,” she said.
Lupo met her husband David at UM law school, and they moved to Marco in 1998, first working at a small law firm and later joining Roetzel & Andress. Around that time, she immersed herself in volunteering for the Y, down the years chairing the Special Events program, serving as capital campaign chair for the relatively new Youth Development Center, twice serving as president and throughout the whole time being on the board.
Lupo is particularly proud of the Marco Y’s service expansion into lesser privileged communities in East Naples. “The circumstances (some) children are born into aren’t a benchmark for where you can go,” she said. “So, every child should have opportunities. Food, clothing, all those programs tie together. If not, how are you supposed to learn? Education is the equalizer.”
On her own contributions, Lupo says the simple act of giving back is gratifying. “Each person has something that intrinsically makes them happy,” she said. “It feeds my soul, so to speak. It brings me joy to know that what I’ve done over the long term matters.” Lupo also emphasized that she’d teamed with dynamic people in the past, many of whom (such as Jim Curran, Dick Shanahan, Pat Neale and many others) were integrally involved with the historic leadership of Marco. In her day job, Lupo focuses on the practical representation of planned communities, including condominiums, homeowners' associations, country clubs (bundled and 617), hotels, mixed-use and industrial condominiums, and continuing care retirement communities (CCRC).